slashsmut single kristin keller schillinger

A Night To Remember

by Kristin


The guard pushed Vern Schillinger into the cold dampness of the hole, but defiantly, Vern resisted, refusing to be rushed. Naked and unbeaten, he deliberately kept his back to the hack, dismissing him with both posture and attitude. What the other man didnít see was that the sound of the door shutting, the sound of being left alone with his thoughts and his impotent rage, elicited a shudder that even Vern couldnít repress.

You will not let this affect you, you miserable fuck, you are stronger than this place, Vern thought, almost as though thinking it would make it true. And by sheer force of will, he wrapped himself up in the patented cloak of arrogance and bullshit that made him a force to be reckoned with in Oz. He started pacing, the measured steps keeping time with his racing thoughts, ignoring the cold and damp surroundings.

Well, Beecherís been a somewhat more worthy adversary than expected. I can really pick Ďem, canít I, he chuckled to himself. At first, he wouldnít believe that cunt Whittlesey when she said that Keller ratted him and Metzger out, but after three hours of grilling by the warden, he finally accepted it.

Turning Keller against me was a brilliant move, Beecher. Almost Schillinger-like in its perversity - suckering my former prag into choosing you, a weak nutso with absolutely no credibility or cache in Oz, over me. The man who always (always, Keller, you betraying, back-stabbing bitch) protected Keller. I always did what was best for him even when he didnít realize it, even when he wouldnít thank me for it.

Like that time back in Lardner when he had first met Keller, a scared 17 year-old doing his first hard time. A small time thief, no connections, no honor. But even then Keller was sex on a stick. And practically at first sight, hell, even before he saw him, Vern had decided to make Keller his prag, his pupil, just HIS.

**

Keller had come to Lardner at a time when the blacks and the Aryans were getting into it pretty good. Heíd been assigned to Vernís cell shortly after Vernís cellmate had been found dead in the gym, and while they had never proven anything, the brilliant powers-that-be decided stop fighting the inevitable and put only white prisoners in with him.

Keller had come in just before dinner, when all the inmates in Cell Block A were waiting in small groups to be herded down to the mess hall. Vern, leaning casually against the iron fence outside his cell, had watched as Keller made his way down the cellblock walkway, carrying a white property bag. His eyes narrowed as he took in the cocky strut, the bounce to the kidís step that seemed oddly to fit and yet was completely out of place inside the walls of prison.

And when Keller stopped in front of the bars to his cell, Vern realized that this was his new cellmate, and that this could actually be, well, fun. It would at least be a change from the boring monotony of this hellhole.

Vern tuned out the guardís final instructions to Keller as he took off the handcuffs and directed him into the small cell, taking the opportunity to study the kid. Slim build, short dark hair, high forehead, deep-set, changeable eyes - sometimes blue, sometimes gray. Later Vern would discover that those haunted eyes turned black with rage - and passion.

Even then, dressed in prison issue rags, locked in at age 17, Chris Keller was something special Ė sexy, cocky, and as Vern would learn, charming, funny, even sweet sometimes.

But Vern hadnít cared about that then. He had mostly seen Keller as weak - someone he could control. That was all that mattered that first night.

"Hiya, Iím Chris Keller," the boy said after the guard left and Vern walked into the cell. He held out his hand, one eyebrow quirked, an easy warm smile making his already handsome face even more appealing. "You must be Vern. I guess weíre gonna be roommates."

Vern ignored the extended hand as he slowly circled Keller, openly sizing him up. No, junior, Iím not interested in being your friend, he thought, locking eyes with kid. For a moment, Vern thought he saw fear in the depths of the shadowed eyes as Keller rolled his shoulders and let his hand drop to his side. But the kid continued to meet his gaze, steadily returning the challenge he saw there.

"This ainít the dorm at State U, junior," Vern replied without a hint of humor, tamping down on his instinctual liking of the kidís brashness. "Weíre not going to be double-dating or anything, so why donít you just shut the fuck up and show me what you brought me." He leaned back against the back wall of the small cell, and gestured toward Kellerís property bag. "Cause that IS a present for me, right?"

He had to give the kid credit, he didnít blink; hell, his smile didnít even dim. "Sure, whatís mine is yours, buddy," Keller said and appraised Vern briefly with an intense look as he handed over the bag. He turned to glance around the cell. "Not much in there, though - just a few t-shirts and shit. My mom baked some cookies for me, but they wouldnít let me bring them in."

Vern smirked at that, his mouth pursed and eyes wide in mock-innocence. "Oh, how sweet, your mommy made you cookies. Did you explain that you werenít going away to summer camp? Or is she as dumb as you look?" He added, trying to see if he could push this too-cool kid into breaking a bit. The boy sighed, absently scratching his head hard and quick as he sat down on the bottom bunk.

"Whatís the matter with you, junior, you got fleas?" Vern snorted, noting the nervous gesture. When he got no response, he shrugged, continuing to go through the bag Keller had handed him. Tonight was soon enough to show him who was boss. Break him in a bit.

But as he was to learn, there wasnít much that could make Chris Keller break, then or now. Later that night, though, Vern had done his best to bust Keller wide open anyway. What Vern never realized was that he had succeeded.

**

Remembering the young Keller made Vernís breath come more quickly. Still pacing the small space of the hole, he couldnít stop his thoughts from returning to later that same night, when the lights went out in their small cell in Lardner. To the first time with Keller.

**

On the other side of Oz, Chris Keller was trying to come to terms with what he had done for Toby. The betrayal of Vern was so out of character for him. Pissing off Vern Schillinger was not the smart move. And practically since the day heíd met Vern, Chris had always made the right moves. Even that first night in Lardner, when Vern had pragged him for the first time, Chris had managed to be exactly what Vern had wanted. Memories of that night filtered back to Chris, haunting him still, almost 20 years later.

**

Earlier, Keller had put the stuff away that Vern hadnít claimed and spent most of the evening on the bottom bunk, reading a comic book that Vern had let him keep because it amused him to think of Keller as a little boy. But right now, he wanted Keller to be his woman, and he wasnít going to take no for an answer.

"Lights out" came the call down the cellblock. And the ominous chunk of the lights being turned off left the cell bathed in soft gray, shadows making the little cell seem even smaller. Vern lingered in the top bunk, listening to the sounds of Keller putting down the comic boo, and as the silence built, the tension rose in the cell. Vern prolonged the moment until he heard Kellerís breathing increase. Gotcha, he thought, as he slipped off the top bunk, landing on his feet lightly, with the grace of a big cat. Stalking his prey.

Chrisí heart beat even harder, as he tried to accept what was probably coming next. He had sensed it from Vern all evening - the need to be in charge, the demeaning comments, the demands for obedience and subservience. And despite his bravado, Chris had spent the day becoming more and more frightened. Now the moment was here.

Chris enjoyed sex and did it as often as possible with anything in a skirt. He also did his fair (probably more than fair) share of beating off. But he was pretty sure he wasnít going to enjoy the kind of sex Vern Schillinger was offering. First of all, he wasnít a fag. Also because it wouldnít really be about sex, it would be all about power. And pain, if he had Vern pegged right.

And Chris, this 17 year-old Chris, hadnít learned yet that sometimes sex meant pain and degradation. And that sometimes despite the pain and degradation, it could be very good sex. But he was about to get his first lesson on that important subject from the professor of pain, Vern Schillinger.

As Vern hunkered down on the edge of the bottom bunk, Chris did his best not to shrink away. "Hiya, little man," Vern whispered, a hint of steel in his voice as he leaned into Chrisí hip, pressing his already semi-hard cock against the boyís side. "You and I need to come to an understanding. Youíre new here, youíre new to prison--"

"Not that new - I did time in juvie a few years ago," Chris broke in. Maybe he could establish some credibility and distract Vern from his goal.

"You see, thatís just what Iím talking about," Vern grunted, his voice low and insistent. "You FUCKING interrupted me, you little pussy. Not for the first time, either. And earlier, you didnít offer me your dinner. And you sat before I said you could sit." Vern leaned further into the lower bunk, his features shadowed, but his eyes shining, boring into Kellerís.

"Now, I have some very simple rules. Rules that will make things go better for you - here in Lardner and here in this cell. Rules that you will follow. And if you follow all the rules, weíll get along just fine. And no one, and I mean no one, will mess with you." Vern reached into the bunk and put his hand on Kellerís shoulder, using painful squeezes to punctuate the words. "But if you donít follow the rules, Iíll mess with you. You look like a smart boy, so Iím sure you donít want that."

Chris couldnít repress a painful wince from the pressure on his shoulder, noting Vernís pleased smirk at the expression. Vern was close enough now that Chris could smell him, an earthy scent that included deodorant, toothpaste and shoe polish as well as something heíd never smelled before: the smell of an aroused man.

The anticipation of what was to come was already making Vern hot, and his quick inhalations sucked the air out of the space between him and Keller. To Chris it felt as if Vern was stroking his face - from the inside out, and he struggled to control his reaction while he decided how to play this.

Chris hadnít known this man long, but he had sensed from the start Vernís need for power - now he was going to prove his power through sex. Vern could make this very rough if Chris wanted to push it, and it would probably be all the more enjoyable for Vern if it WAS rough. But Chris couldnít make it too easy or Vern would lose face, and might decide that beating him to death was the better option. Calling on his experience with his dad, Chris decided to keep up the pretense of provoking Vern into doing something he could see Vern badly wanted to do. He would be able to handle it, whatever it was. He had to.

"Yeah, well I was never very good with rules, old man," Chris said, managing to call up a wry grin. He knew Vern wouldnít tolerate his insolence, but he seemed to like the provocation - at least if that solid mass he could feel growing in Vernís crotch was any indication. Chris swallowed hard as he realized there was now only one way for this to end. He was going to get to know this man intimately - and probably in the next minute or so.

Vern could see Keller wrestling with himself, and recognized the moment he decided to act like he wasnít going along with it. But Vern hadnít gotten to be where he was in the world without learning a lot about people, and he decided to let Keller think he was fooling him, he was in control, for the moment. It was a small concession, after all, he thought as he made his voice even rougher.

"Then I guess Iíll just have to teach you. Because a man who doesnít follow rules is going to end up a dead man, at least in my cell. And you do have a sense of self-preservation in there somewhere, donít you, junior?" With that, Vern reached down to the top button on his jeans and popped it open.

Chris couldnít help breaking away from Vernís gaze and watching in helpless fascination as Vern began to shuck himself out of his clothes. First the shirt, up over his head and tossed into the corner, revealing a wifebeater t-shirt, chiseled muscles, several tattoos and confirmation of Vernís growing excitement in the steady rise and fall of his chest.

Kellerís face flushed heavy red as Vern stood up and finished unbuttoning his pants. They fell to the floor with a soft clunk, leaving Vern in tight white briefs, his cock pulling against the fabric, which couldnít quite contain his erection. The cock visibly lengthened as Vern took in Kellerís face and the growing dread on it.

Vern was really starting to enjoy this. The kid had a lot of moxie, but he couldnít hide his real reactions from Vern. And Vern was getting the definite feeling that this might be Kellerís first time with a man, which was just fine with him. In fact, heíd always preferred to take a manís cherry.

Vern wasnít a fag, and he didnít like being with men who liked to be with men - afraid it might rub off or something. But he liked sex as much as the next guy, and damned if he was going to be denied the pleasure of a warm, tight hole just because he was in prison. The identify, let alone the GENDER, of the person on the receiving end wasnít his concern. And it was always fun to break in a guy who hadnít been ridden before. Show him who was really in charge.

"Thanks for the invitation, by the way, *Christopher*," he growled, using the kidís name like an epithet.

Chris forced himself to look away from the heaviness at Vernís groin. The deep baritone carried an inflection of cruelty and glee; Vern let him know he was getting off on Kellerís terror. "What invitation?" he squeaked, his throat suddenly dry.

Vernís cock throbbed in response to the small betrayal of Kellerís alarm.

"Well, you ARE in MY bed, Christopher. I presume that means you want me to make a man out of you tonight?"

Vern climbed into the bottom bunk, pushing Keller off to the side and settling down on his back in the center of the bed. Grabbing Kellerís shaking hand, he slowly forced it down, until it covered the outline of his cock still trapped in his briefs. Through the thin fabric, Chris felt another manís cock for the first time and for a moment thought he might faint.

Without releasing Kellerís arm, Vern hitched down his elastic waist band, and the shaft bounced out. Again, he guided Kellerís hand to his rigid erection. The sensation of the frightened kid resisting but not succeeding fueled Vernís pleasure, and he had to fight the urge to close his eyes and moan. He always forgot how good it felt to be touched by someone else, especially if they didnít want to be touching him. Like pure power.

Reveling in Kellerís tension and dread, Vern focused on the face of the boy beside him. God, he loved that look, it was almost better than the feeling of a tight hole. More cum pulsed from the head of his cock as he rolled his hips and silently demanded Keller to stroke him.

Chris was nervous and frightened at the feel of the pulsing naked flesh, all soft warm steel and leaking precum. Swallowing hard, he accepted the inevitable and began to stroke the blond man. In his terror, he squeezed the hard cock tightly, too tightly, eliciting a gasp and a terse warning from the blond man.

"You hurt me, Iíll tear your fucking balls off, junior."

Somehow I think Iím the one whoís going to be hurting tomorrow Vern, but I get your point, Chris thought.

Vern watched Kellerís lips thin in concentration as he struggled to loosen his grip. Keller began to softly squeeze the shaft, and then moved in a light up and down motion, drawing more moisture out of the head of the still-hardening member. Vernís eyes drifted shut and his head moved against the pillow and a deep moan escaped his throat. For a few brief moments, he let himself get lost in the pleasure of the touch, pleasure increased by the tang of fear he smelled on the younger man.

Despite his panic, Chris was fascinated by the sensation of another manís body up against his, and the sound of Vernís pleasure . The warmth and strength of Vernís frame stretched out next to him felt vaguely comfortable and right, somehow. He was struck by how foreign Vernís cock felt, when in truth it really wasnít all that different from his own. Bigger, definitely. But somehow it felt completely different. He didnít have time to analyze his reaction. Not then, anyway.

Chrisí hand slipped up and down, increasing the frequency and pressure, and using the moisture of the pre-cum to lubricate against the raw friction. He slid his fingers to the base of Vernís cock and rubbed the sac, gently squeezing first one ball and then the other before returning to the shaft. He relaxed his grip again, barely skimming the cock, which by now was throbbing perceptibly in Chrisí grip. He started teasing it by alternating light and firm strokes.

Vern moaned again, causing Keller to increase the pressure of his motions. For a moment, the men were joined by a common goal - wringing as much pleasure out of those five fingers as possible.

Chris relaxed into Vernís side, surprised to find that he was getting half-hard from giving a handjob. Vern shifted slightly, pumping his hips at the pleasure coursing through him. His left thigh rubbed up against the crotch of Kellerís prison-issue jeans, encountering the hardness, the heaviness there. For a moment, he was almost tempted to reach out and return the favor.

The friction from Vernís thigh caused Keller to sigh softly and the sound woke Vern from his pleasure-stoked reverie. Angered by his reaction to the young boy in his bed, he decided it was time for the next lesson. He clamped his hand over Kellerís to stop the seductive motions.

"Thatís it, boy. Youíre not half bad at that. Course you probably practiced it a lot. Letís have you try something you havenít done before. Get down there and suck that cock." And the steel in Vernís voice let Chris know that he was not going to take no for an answer.

Chris reluctantly released the cock as Vern rolled more fully onto his back. Chrisí shoulders pressed hard against the cold cinder block cell wall. He took in Vernís heaving chest and the hard cock and heavy balls framed by white briefs, now riding low on the muscular hips. Itís like theyíre in a little sling, he thought, and a hysterical giggle almost escaped him before he caught himself. The soft gray light revealed nothing in Vernís gaze as he watched Keller measuring him up and girding himself for this next duty.

Grabbing Kellerís head, fingers tangled in the short wiry hair, he forced the boy to meet his eyes again. "You ARE going to suck that cock, junior. And you better do it well - maybe then I wonít fuck you in the ass. Tonight anyway." Vernís sinister chuckle left Chris with no doubt that this was an empty promise, and he exhaled softly as he slid down the bed, and on his elbows, fitted himself between Vernís knees.

While Keller got into position, Vern pulled himself higher on the pillows, leaning forward to gain a better vantage point for watching Chris Keller suck his first cock. The gray light gave Vern a perfect view of the sharp-featured teen as a breath quickly inhaled drew his cheeks tight. Getting a whiff of that man smell? Vern thought, as Keller reacted to the sight of Vernís dick up close and personal.

Chris regretted the sharp breath, as the smell of Vern darted into his brain. Tentatively, he wrapped his hand around the large base of the cock winking at him in the dim light, and his tongue snaked out from between his teeth to lick the underside, not willing yet to taste the precum oozing from the tip. Vern grinned at the trick, and then groaned as Keller combined soft licks just under the head with strokes up and down on the shaft.

Vern tolerated the pleasurable delay in the real action, but after enjoying a few moments, he grabbed Keller by the ears and pulled his head up. "Get TO it, kid", he ordered, forcing Kellerís head down onto his hardened cock in one smooth motion. Startled, Chris took Vern to the root, his nose pressed into the wiry, dark blond hair at the base, and began to gag and writhe as he struggled for air.

Vern indulged in the combined joys of giving pain and receiving pleasure for several seconds before relenting and relaxing his grip so that Keller could back off the cock slightly. He smirked in satisfaction as he listened to the slight sobs of Keller gasping for breath. Pressing insistently on Kellerís head again, he forced the young mouth back to business. Keeping one hand on the back of Kellerís head, Vern closed his eyes and settled back to enjoy the hot virgin mouth surrounding his cock.

His windpipe burning from the forced deep throating, Chris slowly began to suck on the solid length resting against his tongue. The taste wasnít as foreign as he expected - salty, sugary and warm. Nothing like pussy. But after a few minutes, Chris began to use all the tricks he learned from going down on girls to satisfy Vern.

Slowly, unexpectedly, Chris warmed to his task. Rhythmic sucking, little swirls with his tongue. Occasionally backing off entirely to lap at the very tip. Finding himself savoring the salty sweet cum flowing from another manís dick. And feeling his own cock, which had gone flaccid while he struggled for breath, begin to thicken again. Surreptitiously, he rubbed against the scratchy wool blanket on the bed, bucking his hips up and down in concert with the movements of his head and lips on Vernís cock.

Chris sucked the cock in deeply and released it almost completely before taking it to the root again, each time a new penetration, building a rhythm that Vern couldnít resist. Opening his eyes, Vern gripped the back of Kellerís head even tighter.

He saw the kid humping the mattress but decided to ignore it, this time, as the pleasure washed over him. Feeling himself rushing to the end, he began to spasm, his balls drawing up tight in Kellerís hands as he came, harder than he had in a long time, his pleasure enhanced by the sight of Keller swallowing his first load.

Vernís cock pulsed and his cum hit Chrisí tongue in hard, hot blasts. Swallowing frantically, he continued to pull softly on Vernís cock, letting the spasms taper off before releasing the slowly softening tool. His own cock was now rock hard, and even as he milked Vernís cock of the last few drops, he continued to hump his hips into the mattress.

Vern rested for a moment, enjoying the feel of the mouth sucking gently on his softening cock and the warm drowsiness that enveloped his body. His breathing began to return to normal, and he watched Keller increase his rhythmic dry humping of the mattress. Amused, aroused even, he waited until he could see that the kid was about to come before he put a stop to it.

Without warning, Vern pushed Keller out from between his knees, and onto the floor in one fluid motion. "Like that, did you? Fuckiní fag." And Keller was left lying on the ground staring as Vern turned his back, pulled up the covers and dismissed him.

**

The sound of the bolt sliding back and the door opening snapped Schillinger from his memories. Mc Manus walked in. Vern had no time to compose himself, and fuck it all, he had a hard-on from his trip down memory lane.

"Having some quality alone-time, Vern?" McManus mocked, pointedly eyeing the erection Schillinger had no way to hide. "I came down to ask if you know where we might find Karl Metzger, but I would hate to interrupt."

"Just imagining fucking your sister, Timmy." Vern responded with a smirk.

**

As the lights went out in Ad Seg, Chrisí thoughts again slipped back to that first night with Vern. Back to the first time he had serviced another man. Back to the first time he realized that sometimes sex was scary and painful; back to the dawning realization that he was just as attracted to men as women. More, really. And remembering, as though it were new again, the humiliation as Vern pushed him away after coming, leaving Chris with a rock-hard cock and some real questions that he needed to answer.

***

After a few moments on the floor of the cell, Chris hauled himself up to the top bunk, his throat burning, his eyes stinging and his heart racing, taking in what he had just done and what it could all mean. How COULD he have enjoyed sucking another manís cock? And how could he have let Vern see how turned on he was by it?

Chrisí felt tears course down his cheeks, tears that he had not allowed himself to shed during the months leading to his conviction. He had told himself that prison wouldnít be that bad - better than going to school, actually. No freakiní nuns trying to make him confess his sins, no sanctimonious priests watching his every move, waiting for an excuse to call his dad, to kick him out.

In fact, Chris had almost enjoyed the months heíd spend in juvie last year, since it had gotten him away from his alcoholic father. So he had almost managed to convince himself that he didnít mind being locked up for 3 years. Heíd been in the county jail for weeks after he was convicted and sentenced, waiting for a spot to open in Lardner. Hell, how much different could it be?

Chris had not understood the power of driving through the prison gates on the bus, seeing the guards armed with shotguns watching from their towers, the barbed wire, the high fences. The urge to try to run had almost overcome him as he stepped off the bus, the daylight blinding him for a moment, helping him maintain his control.

Then within the prison walls, he had endured humiliating showers and searches before finally receiving prison-issue clothes. He had noted the various expressions of disdain, contempt, hate, lust, and envy radiating from the eyes of the prisoners handing out the provisions. And finally, the intimidating walk down the long corridor of cells, accompanied by catcalls and whistles from the inmates. Inside, heíd been screaming. And the whole time he thought he might throw up. But heíd kept his cool. Heíd refused to give in to his fears, or the tears.

Chris had managed to strut down that hallway like he was the biggest hardass there was and walk into the cell where heíd be spending the next three years. And met his new mentor, Vern Schillinger.

And now Vern had given him his first lesson. On pain, on power, on life. Looking back, he could see that somehow heíd managed to charm and seduce Vern out of fucking him in the ass. At least for tonight. Just like he used to be able to sweet-talk the nuns into giving him one more chance, not turning him in to Fr. Michael. Just like heíd always been able to cop a feel, and more, from the hottest girls. Just like he had always been able to charm money out of his grandmother.

That night, Chris learned that his charm, his ability to identify and meet the needs of others would be how he would survive. Even if that meant using it to give someone power and control over him. Even if it meant trading sex for protection. And that night Chris also learned that he enjoyed giving up control, just as much as he liked what he got in return.

And Chris would never, ever be the same again.

He would figure out how to turn the sex thing to his advantage later. Vern certainly seemed to enjoy the sex, at least if the moans he made were any indication. Remembering reminded him of his own hard-on and he reached down to free his still hard cock from his pants. He stroked it, rough and quick, trying to cover the sounds up so they didnít carry down to Vern, now softly snoring on the bottom bunk.

Settling into a good rhythm, he sighed at the pleasure. Yeah, Vern had REALLY enjoyed it. Maybe Iíve got something that Vern wants. And admit it, it wasnít nearly as bad as you expected. Of course, Vern hadnít gotten around to fucking him in the ass. Yet. That might not be so easy to take.

Even the thought of Vern fucking his ass didnít deflate Chrisí cock, and as he started to come, he remembered how Vern felt, the taste and smell of another manís cock. His cum splattered his stomach and some hit him in the chin. Licking it tentatively, he compared it to Vernís, even as he continued to shudder his pleasure. His was not as earthy, tasted less salty somehow. He closed his eyes at the ecstasy of the orgasm, his muscles tense and heart pounding.

After the spasms ended, he relaxed into his sheets, rubbing the cum into his skin as he gathered the blankets around him and began to drift off. Shit, sex is just sex, really, no matter who you do it with. And he could definitely use it to his advantage, he thought just before he slipped into sleep.

**

Chris returned to the present with a sigh. Yeah, he had learned how to give Vern what he wanted, usually without letting Vern know he was being manipulated. But trying to control Vern was like trying to charm a snake - it might work most of the time, but lose your concentration for a moment, and you got bit.

The situation with Toby was the most devastating example of that. And Chris knew that what he had done today, ratting out Schillinger and Metzger, meant that he had finally gone too far. Vern was now his enemy and the worst part was he didnít know if it was going to be enough to prove to Toby that he was sorry. That he loved him. What Chris really wanted was to get back to him. Back to their pod. Back to their home. Back to Toby.

He was already going stir crazy in Protective custody and it hadnít even been 12 hours. He lay back in the bed, and reached for his cock, the one thing that had always been there for him, that had gotten him through the years at Lardner, that had helped him find some measure of peace. Just like that first night with Vern.

As he began stroking himself, Chris pictured Tobyís face, sweaty from wrestling, teasing Chris for his terrible grammar errors, groaning as Chris finally beat him at chess. Sweet, soft, crazy, vulnerable Toby. Those blue eyes, the blond hair, the crazy beards. As he increased the pace of his strokes, he let himself fantasize about what might have been if he had accepted what Toby had offered when he came back from the hole after the scene in the laundry room.

He came with Tobyís name on his lips.

**

In the hole, Schillinger settled into the far corner, propped against the icy walls, ignoring the discomfort of the cool, sharp stones against his bare skin. His head drooped wearily back and he stared unseeingly up at the dark ceiling. Goddamnit, he was tired, tired of having to be on guard every fucking minute of every fucking day. This whole thing with Beecher had somehow spiralled all out of control - what should have been a routine double-fuck of a weak, over-educated, under-fed, snot-nosed Richie Rich had turned into the biggest drama in Vernís life.

And because of that, Vern was locked in a constant struggle to maintain his position and power with the Aryans, not to mention the rest of Oz. Shut out of Em City. Having to constantly prove himself, fighting to keep the respect of the others after they had seen Beecher so effectively undermine him.

Oh, and donít forget he half-blinded you and shit on your face, Vern, came the unbidden thought. Like I ever could, asshole.

Earlier, heíd refused to answer McManusí questions, hiding his surprise that Metzger was missing. Where had that not so jolly blond giant gotten to? Had he gotten word that Keller was turning snitch and hightailed it out?

If so, pretty fucking dumb move. If they all stuck together, no way would Keller survive to make the charges stick. Beecher was probably counting on that - using Keller to get to me and Metzger, turning his enemies against themselves. Hoping chaos, distrust, mistakes would ensue. Vern grimaced, his face distorted with reluctant admiration. Iíve got to hand it to him, itís not a bad plan. Course Toby-boy keeps forgetting who heís dealing with.

As he slipped into sleep, the control heíd been exerting over his thoughts loosened, and Vern began to dream of Chris Keller. Keller had been his, trained at his knee, a weapon he had counted on and used often, and well, over the last 20 years. In his dreams, Vern was running down a long hall, three steps behind a naked Keller, calling after him. Keller turned his head, smiling ferally, not slowing, not responding. Suddenly Keller disappeared into a chasm that opened up in front of them. Vern flailed above it, fighting to keep from falling in, feeling himself slipping closer and closer to the yawning mouth.

Vern woke with a start, the sensation of falling bringing his heart into his throat and the tattered memory of the dream already eluding him. He listened to his breathing echo against the stone walls of hole, letting the sounds calm him. Several minutes later, Vern dropped his head back to his knees with a sigh. Sleep came more slowly after that.


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